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Resources > DIY Home Security > The Security Gap: Why Don't People Have a Home Security System?

The Security Gap: Why Don't People Have a Home Security System?

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Man with insomnia looking out a window at night.

An alarming 44% of people worry about their home being burglarized when they aren’t there. That’s just one of several personal safety concerns that have grown dramatically in recent years. See the GALLUP article “Personal Safety Fears at Three-Decade High in U.S.” for the results of its recent poll.

It’s understandable that people feel less safe nowadays. Have you turned on the news lately? It seems there is more unrest, and all the gory details of crimes are shared again and again on social media. Whether crime is actually up or down is of no consequence to someone who feels the fear.

While a large chunk of the U.S. population worries about their home being burglarized, it’s interesting to note another statistic: Of the 142 million homes in the United States, about half of U.S. households don’t have a security system installed. Why the disconnect?

In this article, we’ll look at the reasons people don’t have a security system, even though they might feel unsafe.

Home security survey found why people don't own a system.

Top Reasons People Don’t Own a Security System

Cove recently conducted a survey of 1,000 households in the U.S., asking various questions about their thoughts on safety. One of those questions: Do you own a home security system? If not, why?

Here are the top four reasons people stated they don’t have a system:

  • Too expensive
  • Crime isn't a problem where I live
  • I have a dog / trust my dog to deter burglars
  • I don't want to be locked into a contract**

A security system serves as a crucial deterrent against burglary, vandalism, and other potential threats, yet a considerable portion of the population remains unprotected.

According to the Cove survey, men (64%) were much more likely than women (46%) to own a security system. And a whopping 68% of Baby Boomers didn’t use one, compared to 69% of Millennials who did. The question is: why?

Let's explore each of these reasons why people don’t have a security system in place, and break it down into different demographics to better understand their reasoning.

counting money

Too Expensive

One of the primary reasons individuals hesitate to invest in a security system is the perceived cost. Some people might view security systems as an unnecessary expense, especially if they live in what they consider to be a safe neighborhood. However, the cost of not having a security system can be far greater in the event of a break-in or security breach.

The belief that a security system is too expensive could also be due to a lack of awareness. Many simply don’t realize the benefits and accessibility of modern security systems. With the advancements in technology, contemporary security solutions are more user-friendly, affordable, and effective than ever before.

RELATED: How Much Is a Home Security System? Crunching the Numbers

Cove opened its doors with the idea that everyone deserves to feel safe. Period. That’s why our company is built on creating affordable options every step of the way. Cove’s equipment is less expensive than competitors; plus if you want to pay for it over time, we have the Affirm financing option. Shipping is always free! Since we’re a DIY system, you don’t have to pay to install it. Monitoring plans come in at under $1/day, and we never have contracts. Finally, you can try us free for 60 days.

When looking at Cove survey respondents by generation, Gen X was more concerned about cost than any other age group, with 69% saying that a home security system is too expensive. This is most likely due to the fact that they are currently the “sandwich generation.” Meaning, they are busy working full-time careers while caring for their aging parents as well as still raising children. Likely they already have multiple expenses and can’t fathom adding another.

Ultimately, it never hurts to see how much a Cove system would cost. You can spend less than a minute taking our online quiz and find out how much you’d spend. You might be surprised that it’s less expensive than you think!

Overhead view of a neighborhood full of houses and trees and streets.

Crime Isn’t a Problem Where I Live

For people who answered “Crime isn't a problem where I live,” they may be right. Some neighborhoods do experience less crime. But it doesn’t mean it’s at zero, and it doesn’t mean things won't change.

Those living in areas with historically low crime rates might underestimate the potential risks. The notion that "it won't happen to me" can contribute to a lackadaisical approach to security measures. However, crime is unpredictable, and prevention is always more effective than reaction.

Plus, in certain cases, people may harbor a false sense of security, believing that their surroundings are immune to criminal activity. This mindset often arises from a lack of awareness about the evolving nature of crime, as criminals continuously adapt to exploit vulnerabilities in different areas.

Certainly, no neighborhood is immune to porch pirates. An alarming 39% of Cove survey respondents have had an item stolen from their porch, and 23% have experienced a porch theft in the past 12 months. Twenty-one percent of stolen packages were worth at least $100. Unfortunately, 70% of respondents who were victims of porch pirates were not reimbursed.

Security aside, did you know that a system monitors for more than just security risks? They also keep tabs on environmental risks as well. As part of your Cove system, you can include smoke detectors, CO detectors, and even flood/water leak detectors. At the first sign of smoke or CO or moisture (as well as freezing temperatures), the homeowner and our 24/7 professional monitoring team will be alerted. In the case of fire or carbon monoxide leaks, emergency services will be quickly dispatched. For water leaks, the professional monitoring team will reach out to you and your emergency contact list.

Two dogs looking out the window of a house.

Trust Their Dog to Deter Burglars

It’s true that sometimes, dogs can cause potential intruders to think twice about targeting a specific house. But there are stipulations. Is the dog a large breed? Is the dog going to bark loudly enough for people to hear and actually go investigate the cause of the noise?

Unfortunately, dogs aren’t fail safe. They may be up in your bedroom, far from the front door someone is trying to break into. They may be in the kennel while you are out rather than guarding your house. And even more likely, many dogs are just plain friendly and will have no problems befriending a complete stranger.

Plus, as SafeWise points out in its article, “Are Guard Dogs Effective for Preventing Break-Ins?” your dog can’t call for the police, fire department, or ambulance in the event of an emergency. There are simply plenty of things a home security system can do that a dog cannot.

Looking at the Cove survey results, even though only 42% of Baby Boomers owned a dog—compared to 60% of Gen X, 74% of Millennials, and 72% of Gen Z—they had the most faith in their furry friend to protect their home. When asked if they worried their dog would be friendly toward a home intruder, 46% responded with “definitely not.”

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Don’t Want to Be Locked into a Contract

At Cove, we understand that this is a real issue. If you sign a contract, then what happens if your circumstances change? For example, what if you move or are temporarily unemployed? What if the security company wants to hike monitoring rates and your contract requires you to pay them? Those are real scenarios that have people thinking twice about signing on the dotted line. That’s why Cove set out to be different from other home security companies.

The good news: Cove never requires contracts. Isn’t that a breath of fresh air? We want to earn your trust and keep your business honestly, through showing you that our system works and our customer service is first-rate. So, if you’re concerned at all about contracts, you can rest easy knowing that Cove doesn’t have them. And if you ever want to stop service, it’s easy to make that change.

How safe do you feel in and out of your home? If you’re like many across the country, you may have been feeling less safe now than in previous years. The next question is a vital one: do you own a security system? Why or why not?

Hopefully this article helped to answer your concerns or arm you with knowledge so you can make smart, safe choices about your home safety. Want to learn more? Call our customer service team 24/7. Not sure what equipment you might need? Click below to take our quiz.


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